Couples can tap their toes to triple-rhythms or swivel their shoulders in silver foxtrots during one-hour classes taught by nurturing instructors during the course of five weeks. Offering a safe and supportive environment in which couples of all dancing dexterities can follow their rug-cutting inclinations, The Ballroom specializes in social dancing and restoring mislaid grooves to their rightful owners. A bimonthly class schedule features several spicy levels of hip-swinging salsa classes and a popular East Coast–swing series that will have students lindy hopping over the competition at Jay Gatsby’s next lawn party. Heartland dances such as the line dance give feet a taste of American pie and nightclub dances such as salsa and cha-cha ensure perfect street-credit scores of 850. A series of social-ballroom classes survey traditional waltzes and foxtrots for formal occasions.
At Devi Yoga Center, seasoned instructors draw on backgrounds in dance, psychotherapy, and somatic study to teach ancient poses that are both graceful and meditative. The 1,100-square-foot studio, complete with cathedral ceilings, radiant heat, and natural light, shelters students from the stress and flying monkeys waiting outside. Owner Kashi Ananda specializes in TriYoga, a system based in ancient yoga that features a sequence of kundalini-inspired postures synchronized with breath and focus, meant to boost physical, mental, and spiritual energy. Students can also cultivate strength, flexibility, and inner peace with other styles of yoga, from beginner-friendly aerial routines to relaxing prenatal sessions with a complimentary tea service.
Ellington Hall instructors David and Cirkl lead would-be jitterbuggers through the simple steps necessary for an evening of on-tempo fun. The rug-cuttery begins with a class aimed at beginners and more advanced dancers alike, who can arrive partnered or fly solo to join the crowd of two-steppers. Students arrive dressed in whatever makes them feel comfortable; after the one-hour seminar in fancy footwork, the evening's dance begins. Swing students spin, jump, and twirl on the expansive hardwood dance floor, pausing for breaths and Great Gatsby impersonations on the garden terrace. An all-brick fireplace dominates the dance space, adding a note of elegance and an easy place to store extra left feet.
The independently owned Roxy Stadium 11 regales patrons with the flickering pictures and digital sounds of the latest blockbusters and the sizable snack bar. A colorful lobby greets guests as they meander past towering pillars that stretch toward an arched ceiling swathed in neon lights and bold swaths of royal blue. Aisles of cushioned auditorium seats allow moviegoers to choose the spot closest to the screen or furthest from the person sobbing emphatically during coming attractions. High-tech projectors digitally unspool films in each theater, with RealD 3-D technology transmitting some flicks in three vibrant dimensions. To silence distracting mid-movie hunger pangs, staffers in the concessions area whip up fresh batches of Orville Redenbacher popcorn and Nathan's hot dogs alongside other traditional theater fare.
At Bay West Ballroom, students learn how to tango alongside their identical twin, whether they were actually born with one or not. The studio's eastern wall of mirrors stretches for 60 feet, ensuring that students’ reflections are always visible as they spin on the sprung beech-wood floor. On the opposite side, windows admit sunlight and scenic views of the hills, creating an ethereal space where seasoned instructors demonstrate ballroom, Latin, and swing dance styles. Drawing from a diverse curriculum, these instructors cover a broad spectrum of disciplines that range from the cha-cha to the country two-step, encouraging practice in both the classroom and social settings. For example, lessons on popular salsa steps prepare pupils to spin at nightclubs, and wedding courses customize choreography to match a chosen song at elegant receptions.
Directors Mark and Andrea Nelson-Novak have both earned championship titles, and Andrea draws on a degree in biology to better inform her protégés on anatomy, movement, and the location of the body’s rhythm glands. The pair enlists other experts—including US Country and Swing Champion Tony Gutsch and Grand National Latin Finalists Dima and Olga Sukachov—to helm specialized and regular classes. The team also hosts holiday parties each year.
At Marin Murder Mysteries, dinner mates may ask you to pass the rolls just before they begin chipping away at your alibi. That’s because guests are both suspects and sleuths during the theater troupe’s interactive performances, attempting to tally the clues and pinpoint the culprit's motive. Each year, the cast and crew serve up three to four different shows that inject generous portions of slapstick into the familiar detective genre. The writers and directors have a particular fondness for the noir-soaked era of the 1950s, with such past plays as Remains to be Seen, Murder Me, Always, and Death of a Doornail. During the show, guests have the option to dine on a gourmet dinner or sip cocktails from a cash bar.